Donald John Kornemann, a former Miles City resident, passed away on Friday, December 27, 2013 at Parkhaven Assisted Living in Manhattan, Montana.
Don was born on February 3, 1926 in Deadwood, South Dakota, the son of Julius and Martha Kornemann. He grew up and attended country schools in the area of Albion, Montana and Deadwood, South Dakota. He joined the Army at the age of 17 and served his country in Italy towards the end of WWII. After the war, he returned home to work on his dad’s sheep ranch near Albion. After teaching himself to play the drums, he joined a local band and played for many of the country dances in the area. It was at one of these dances in Albion, that he met Esther Lyons. They were married on February 15, 1947. For over thirty years they raised sheep, cattle and three children. Don dedicated his life to the ranch, his family and the community. He served on the local school board and the Southeast Rural Electric Association, was the area brand inspector, and was always available to offer a helping hand to his neighbors. In 1979, they moved to Miles City to semi-retire. However, Don continued his passion for ranching and leased a small ranch near Kinsey with his long-time friend, Ken Deitchler. Don will be remembered for his long time membership with the Miles City VFW and as the Quarter Master for over eight years. He was a member of the Miles City VFW post #1579, Honor Guard and served as a rifleman at military funerals. Don also enjoyed a good fishing hole and told many tales about fishing trips with fishing buddy, Bob Baker!
Don was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Robert, his wife Esther, and a grandson, Ryan McNelis. Don is survived by his son, Mike Kornemann of Belle Fourche, SD; daughter, Marilyn (Kevin) McNelis of Belgrade, MT; son, Kelly (Toni) Kornemann of Moorcroft, WY; his grandchildren: Wacey (Heather) Kornemann of Capitol, MT; Wade (Jessica) Kornemann and great grandson, Ryder; Kellie McNelis of Missoula, MT; Katie Fujiwara (Steve) and great grandson, Sawyer; and Kiera McNelis of Sugarland, Texas.
Visitation will be held on Friday, January 3, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home in Miles City. Military Graveside services will be held on Friday, January 3, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. at the Eastern Montana State Cemetery in Miles City with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Rocky Mountain Hospice, 301 Edelweiss Drive, Suite 6, Bozeman, Montana 59718 or to an organization of choice.